AMBROSE RISES TO TENTH IN NASCAR BUSCH SERIES POINTS WITH SOLID RACE IN CALIFORNIA Team Australia driver Marcos Ambrose has risen to tenth in the NASCAR Busch Series standings after finishing 25th in the Stater Bros 300 at California Speedway...
AMBROSE RISES TO TENTH IN NASCAR BUSCH SERIES POINTS WITH SOLID RACE IN CALIFORNIA
Team Australia driver Marcos Ambrose has risen to tenth in the NASCAR Busch Series standings after finishing 25th in the Stater Bros 300 at California Speedway in Fontana, California today.
It was another solid finish for Ambrose in his second NASCAR Busch Series start, the Australian driving the Aussie Vineyards-backed #59 Kingsford Charcoal Ford Fusion to be the third highest finishing Raybestos Rookie of the Year contender in today's 150-lap event.
The race was a gutsy performance for Ambrose and the #59 Wood Brothers/JTG Racing crew as they worked hard all race to improve the set-up of the team's spare car after a qualifying crash put the main car out of commission.
Ambrose crashed at the start of his qualifying run, which was held less than four hours before the start of the race. Not only did this put Ambrose in 41st and last position for the start of the race, it meant that the #59 crew had to work hard to get the spare #59 Kingsoford Charcoal Ford Fusion ready for the race.
From this point on it was always going to prove a tough event for Ambrose, but he soldiered on despite having no track time in the spare car over the weekend. With set-up critical at California Speedway, Ambrose persevered with the car with the aim of collecting a finish and some vital points.
Ambrose broke in to the top 30 on lap 60 of the 150-lap race, exiting pit road in 27th after his second pit stop under the third caution period of the day.
With 25 laps to go Ambrose remained in 27th and over the course of the final laps Ambrose gained further positions to finish 25th, despite battling a set-up that made the car a challenge, especially in the middle part of the corners.
Matt Kenseth won today's Stater Bros 300 in his Ford Fusion ahead of Casey Mears and Kyle Busch.
Ambrose makes his NASCAR road course debut next weekend in Mexico City at the Autodromo Hermanos Rodriguez in the third race of the 2007 NASCAR Busch Series season.
Marcos Ambrose -- Aussie Vineyards-backed #59 Kingsford Charcoal Ford Fusion
"I still don't know what happened on the qualifying run," said Ambrose.
"It was a bit of a mess and it really put us back. I have to thank the team for what they were able to do in getting the car ready before the race. They did a great job to get everything on the spare car ready.
"I hadn't driven the spare so it was very hard to get out there with the speeds these cars do and run with the frontrunners. Not having driven it, the set-up was obviously not right. We worked away at it and tried to tune it during the pit stops but it just didn't work, especially through the mid-corner.
"The qualifying thing put us in the spare car and there is only so much you can tune it in the pit stops, so we were pretty much stuck with what we had.
"We were able to get to the finish and get some points. It was a solid finish and we are keeping the points ticking along and for these first few races that is definitely the goal. Credit really has to go to the team this weekend.
"This is probably the toughest track to get used to that I have raced on in the past 12 months. You've got to have everything nailed with the set-up and be on top of everything to get things going. But saying that I'm quite confident that next time we come here we will have it worked out.
"We can look ahead to Mexico and our first road course now but I think the team should be pretty proud of what they did today. Unfortunately after qualifying we were in a pretty tough situation but they did everything they could, got me back out there and worked really hard during the race."
-credit: team australia